I’m not good at vulnerability but since this COVID situation I have decided the gloves are off between me and my ego. No more hiding behind the curtain, I feel the need to be authentic now more than ever.
My why is greatly linked to the high risk kids and youth that are currently in my practice. My care and concern for them in this unsettling time has given me the kick I think I needed to start showing my larger network who I really am, my real self.
For as long as I can remember I have had a ritual, a staff meeting with myself every Monday. As a solo entreprenur and pracitioner it has been me, myself and I that have had decision rights and the power to create change in my business for the last 17 years.
I want to share with you the formula I use for this meeting and why this has saved my sanity all these years. I created structure around this meetings on Mondays and it is me and my patients that benefit
I’ll be honest this came from necessity! I had a 6 week waiting list that didn’t budge for 3 years! I was emotionally and physically exhausted and I wanted to have a family one day. I had worked in multi-modality clinics and this was just not for me. I opened my own private practice in Melbourne and then shifted gears to online consulting 11 years ago when we started to move around the world.
I had worked in very successful and people centric dental clinic for many years while I was in college and I saw first hand when you treat the patient everything else works! (Thank you Guilia, your leadership and mentorship for all those years as my boss and my friend created lessons and wisdom that has served me for years.)
What we do as healthcare providers is people centric. This is our why, our motivation and when we are good at what we do the patients come streaming through the doors. My challenge of course was keeping up and maintaining my level of care as I was now so busy!
This weekly staff meeting helped achieve 2 things — productivity and remaining patient focused as my business grew exponentially around me.
I created a 3 step structure for these meetings and I had to be fast as I only had an hour before my first patient arrived. These same steps can be used for your life, your business and even your relationship!
Here are the steps and how-to’s:
Put out Fires!
Trouble shoot all of your difficulties — these may be difficult clients, billing and supply issues, patient communication, practice volume and even practice decor and functionality. Every week as I would encounter hiccups in these areas of my practice I would write them on a sticky note as these were the most important agenda items for this meeting. I had the awareness that to continue to manage I had to find solutions and streamline processes fast and so anything that made it to that list HAD to be solved in the next few days!
Systems and Solutions…
What could I do myself and who else did I need to help me solve the issues on the sticky note? Was it tech support, a new bottle and dropper supplier or did the printer just simply need replacing. Regardless of how big or small I would reach out and delegate or I would entrust a streamlined solution to be implemented by my carefully selected assistant! We are only ever as strong as our support network and our team and my right hand woman has been with me for 17 years! She’s my mum! Many of you know her from speaking to her on the phone in the clinic during those 6 years in Melbourne. Many of you don’t know that she manages all of my shipping, supplies, invoicing and troubleshooting today…17 years later!
How can I do more?
I would spend the last 10 minutes of every meeting brainstorming what greater value and service I could offer my patients. Not only what could I do better in their health care but what else could they benefit from. Patient education, around the clock emergency family care, monthly family care packages, more remedies, daily and weekly phone calls. These are all some of the solutions and inspirations that have come into my clinic to serve my patients from these 10 minutes every Monday morning.
Having this structure in my practice (really in my life too), a place to go and hash out solutions on a Monday has kept my practice thriving and moving forward all of these years. I have never engaged in marketing or spent money on advertising. I have dabbled in and out of social media — mostly limited by my issues of vulnerability and regretting sharing too much.
This has changes since this COVID situation! I am more passionate and comfortable than ever to share vulnerably publically which is why you may have seen more posts of late.
One thing we have learnt in the last few months is that our sanity and our ability to cope is paramount and it can be in jeopardy and change in an instant!
Never before have I had so many depressed children in my private practice who are in need of natural ongoing support, perspective and unconditional acceptance. Everything changed in a matter of days — home lockdowns, shutting down of everything that created structure, fulfillment and a sense of normality for both children and adults!
This weekly meeting made me pivot the structure of my business over a matter of two weeks — not through financial necessity but because the kids and parents in my private practice needed more. Implementing monthly family care plans meant that I was able to make myself available to families and high risk youth around the clock and I was able to structure their care and their access to medicines in a completely new way.
This change in structure has brought anchor points in the week to my patients who were suffering and also creating a greater level of satisfaction and connection with my patients than ever before. Families — new and old have welcomed me into their family, communicating with me daily and getting seriously fast and lasting health results for physical, biochemical and mental health issues.
None of this would have happened without my weekly meeting and without my passion to stay patient centric and asking myself, in the face of COVID how can I do more.
I encourage you to follow me on my journey of vulnerability.
Join my online community — Mindful Moms of Healthy Kids on Facebook and MeWe and add me as a friend on Fb. Why is it so important right now? Because we don’t know what is next, how our lives may continue to change or stay limited and more than ever it’s our emotional resilience and mental health that needs to be robust.
Vulnerability and finding peace within, even when you are frustrated and limited by circumstances is my now my biggest goal!